Solar Dehydrator




Introduction: Solar Dehydrator

A solar food dhydrator removes mostiure from food to ensure proper preservation. It uses heat and air flow to reduce the water content in food. This process prevents bacteria from growing and ruining food.

All materials were reused from various sources, but can be cheaply purchased if you don't already have access to them. 

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Step 1: Materials

2x 22 inch 2x4

2x 16 inch 2x4 

3' 1x3

5' 1x4

5' 1x2

3' 1x1


18"x11" window (glass or plastic)





Dark stretchable material.

Step 2: Platform & Base

 Take the 2x4's and build a square platform with the 22" on the outside and the 16" on the inside.

Next staple the screen onto the platform.

Cut a piece of plywood measuring 19"x19" with 6"x3" cuts in the corners for ventilation. Then attach the plywood to the bottom of the platform.

Step 3: Sides Panels

Cut 2 pieces of  plywood into 22"x16" with a 45 degree diagonal cut.

Then nail the sides to the platform.

Step 4: Front Window

 Using 1x4 cut 2 pieces into 22 inch length. 
Then cut the 1x3 into 16 inch length.
Cut a 45 degree angle into each end and then nail all four pieces together.
After the frame is completed caulk the window onto the frame.

Step 5: Interior Shelf

Cut two pieces of 1x2 into 21 1/2" 
Cut two more pieces of 1x2 into 11"
Nail the ends together.

Wrap a dark stretchable fabric around the frame. This will be the shelf that your food rest on.

Next cut 2 pieces of 1x1 into 1', and then nail them onto the interior side panels 8 inches from the bottom. This is where the shelf will sit.

Step 6: Top & Back Panel

 Top Panel:

Cut a piece of plywood measuring 22''x9 1/2". 
Next, cut 2 pieces of 1x2 9 1/x2" and one piece 20" long. Then nail the 1x2 to the 9 1/2" sides of the plywood, and the 20" to the back of the piece.
Then nail the top panel to the two side panels.

Back Panel:

Cut another piece of plywood measuring 20x12. Attach the hinges to the bottom platform. After it is attached the back panel will easily squeeze into the side walls and top.

Step 7: Completed

 After it is completed you will have an energy efficient way of drying and enjoying your favorite fruits and other snacks.  Dehydration will take place between 100 to 140 degrees f. It will vary for different types of food so be sure to research and find the best result.  You can regulate the temperature using the vents on the bottom and the back door.  Enjoy and have fun!

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    3 Discussions


    8 years ago on Step 7

    This is really great! I've been thinking of making one of these for a while, but I'm wondering if it will work in the hot but HUMID weather of Florida (U.S.). Will it still dry stuff in that kind of humidity?


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    A solar dehydrator is going to have a tough time drying your foodstuffs before they spoil with high humidity (or even drying them at all). You might be better off putting a light socket and light bulb in the bottom of your dehydrator to provide some more heat.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    What kind of dark stretchy fabric do you suggest?